Canada has taken the first official step to purchasing used fighter jets from Australia as its dispute with Boeing continues unresolved.
The Canadian government has now submitted a formal expression of interest to Australia to acquire the aircraft, Public Services and Procurement Canada confirmed.
Canada began discussions in late August with the Australian government to assess the potential purchase of used F/A-18 fighter aircraft from that country.
“On Sept. 29, 2017, Canada submitted an expression of interest, formally marking Canada’s interest in the Australian equipment,” Public Services and Procurement Canada announced in a new statement. “Canada expects to receive a response by the end of this year that will provide details regarding the availability and cost of the aircraft and associated parts that Canada is considering.”
The Australian jets are being considered as interim fighters. They would supplement Canada’s existing CF-18 fleet until a new aircraft could be acquired.
The move to try to acquire fighter jets from Australia coincides with the U.S. government’s decision, based on a Boeing complaint, to hit Bombardier with almost 300 per cent duties on its CSeries civilian passenger jet.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to bring up the Boeing complaint and duties with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday.
The Liberal government had wanted to buy 18 Super Hornet fighter jets but that plan was derailed when the jet’s manufacturer, Boeing, filed the trade complaint in April against Bombardier of Quebec over its civilian passenger jets.
Boeing complained to the U.S. government that Bombardier was receiving subsidies, which in turn allowed it to sell its C-Series civilian passenger aircraft at below-market prices.
The U.S. ruled in favour of the American aerospace giant and as a result, Bombardier will face…